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Pakistan bomb

  • September 21st, 2008

An Islamabad hotel is shattered, and NZ Cricket’s decision to cut out Pakistan is vindicated.

Another tragedy for a country with millions of talented hard working people hostage to their fervent minority whose faith tells them that ends justify means.

Two years ago I went to Pakistan at the request and expense of their Securities Commission. The hotel had been repaired  after much of its face was obliterated by  a bomb. Every return to the hotel involved luggage and clothing searches, scanners, mirrors wheeled under vehicles well clear of the entrance and many cold watchful eyes trying to ensure their own survival as well as that of their guests.

I counted more than 40 men on security duties for each shift.

Most significant businesses had a couple of guards at their door, one with an automatic rifle and the other with a shotgun.

I hired a taxi for a day. The driver was a fervent Muslim, with a wife and children in his family compound an hour’s scooter ride from the city. We visited mosques and madrassars as well as the beautiful old Law Courts built during the Raj.

The place had such promise in 1947. Now few seemed to have much hope for improvement

The Securities Commission was looking to update a company law drastically in need of it. A sound English law core had been encrusted with populist additions that meant few people bothered to incorporate businesses. Yet it was plain that company law was one of the least of their problems. Why put resources into that area of law?

Simple really. The brilliantly educated elite were doing it because they could, without the extremists taking an interest. Company law does not engage the fervent minority. Much more needed reforms would attract the attention of the religious. If  they decide that reform showed disrespect for thier causes, the ‘political’ response could be to annihilate the disrespectful.

Newspapers were bombed into dealing with vital issues in code (like oppression of women). The whole public climate left more unsaid than said, despite a crowded newspaper market.

Political correctness rules.

The dilemma for rulers in such countries is huge. Visiting Turkey last year underscored it. Ataturk essentially wiped out a generation of religious leadership (perhaps half a million killed) to make Turkey officially secular.

God save us from any minority who believe that ends justify means. On the other hand when their numbers pass a critical mass, can they be defeated except by those prepared to use abhorrent means that will unavoidably hurt the innocent?

We are so lucky to be able to cluck and condemn from afar those wrestling with such issues.



  • mike mckee
  • September 22nd, 2008
  • 4:03 pm

aren’t we just.
But we still haven’t listed any other terrorist organisations apart from the silly little list at the UN.
Australia has added 80 orgs to theirs, same at the UK, France etc.
So 80 terrorists can come here but can’t over the Tasman Sea?

Why is Helen Clark sitting on her bum over this?
This is her responsible area as Prime Minister.

Is it because she doesn’t want to alienate any potential voters at the UN for any possible Jobs in the future?

Why is the cop still in the NZPolice force who is charged with making sure this is kept up to date?
I don’t want my taxes paying a salary for someone not up to the job.

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